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Atlético Madrid and Sporting Lisboa take Europa League advantage
ThinkSpain , Friday, April 20, 2012

Atlético Madrid have one foot in the Europa League final after a 4-2 win over Valencia in the first leg of their semi-final.

A brace from Falcao (pictured) and further strikes from Miranda and López were enough to give 2010 Europa League winners Atlético a two-goal advantage to take into the second leg.

Ricardo Costa's last-gasp header into the back of the net will give Valencia some hope ahead of the return leg at the Mestalla next week, but Atlético will feel they have their necks in front.

In the other semi-final first-leg tie, Sporting Lisbon stunned tournament favourites Athletic Bilbao winning 2-1 in the Portuguese capital.

The Basque side took the lead early in the second half when Aurtenetxe connected with Susaeta's deflected free kick, but second-half goals from Insua and Spain international Diego Capel turned the tie on its head, giving Sporting a one-goal lead ahead of the return leg in Bilbao next week.

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